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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Viaduct, Campbell, 07 September (18 pegs)

So after a well-deserved two week break in Ibiza spent mostly asleep in various places (according to my son) it was back down to Viaduct.
Mind you, I almost never went as I spent all day Saturday suffering from a severe dose of man-flu and after spending the evening in one of Staple Hill's finest Indian restaurants I booked myself out and phoned my travelling partner at 11pm to tell him I wouldn't be picking him up in the morning (which is normally severely frowned upon but I let myself off on this occasion).

However I woke up at 5am and thought sod it, threw my gear in the van and coughed and sneezed my way down to Shipham for breakfast .... In hindsight I might as well have stayed in bed as arriving at the fishery we were told by Steve Long that the Saturday open had been a struggle and had been won with just 101-12 from peg 128 and that anyone catching over 100lbs today would do well!
A bit of a shame then as Viaduct has been fishing it's nuts off all summer with most matches requiring 200-plus to frame but never mind, at least the sun was shining (and I'd forgotten my hat)!
It did occur to me that I did bump into Kev Dicks when I went in Scotts on Saturday to pick up a few bits and he asked if I had enough nets as I would need five at least ... kiss of death then!

On to the match then, and seeing as Will Dearlove had done all the hard work, bless him, I let him have the last peg (130) and I took the second last which gave me 127. I wasn't too bothered where I drew as there was almost no wind and there were fish active all over the lake.
For company I had Lee Waller on 128, yesterday's winning peg, and Rich Britton on 126 so a chip shop battering was looking extremely likely but at least it meant I wouldn't need to worry about running out of cigs.
Opposite on 115 was Alan Healey and the six-toed sprat-basher from Bridgwater was up on the top bank on 121 so I had a clear view of where my pound coins would be heading.
The corners were occupied by Chris Szakacs on 110, Ryan Radford on 132, Chris Davis on 119 and Kev Jefferies on 123 which would be interesting......
I didn't have much of a plan formulated as I hadn't looked at my kit for three weeks so it would be a simple day with just 8mm pellet for bait and feed at 9m, 13m (shallow and on the deck) and in the right margin plus a lead rod and a wag rod were looked at and abandoned as they were in an horrendous tangle in the rod case so it was to be "pole-only" for me today. 

After the almost on-time start, as predicted not a lot was happening.  Rich Britton had an early fish on the lead (which was worrying) as did a few others on various methods including myself getting one on the 13m "deep" rig first drop, but nobody seemed to be running away with it except for Derek, my ex travelling partner, on 135 who had five carp in the first hour which is probably the best hour's fishing he has had for about four years!

Lee next door was struggling to get a bite from anything as was Alan Healey and a few others.  And those that were getting fish were losing as many as they were netting.
Rich Britton was managing to put a few together by swapping between the lead and the shallow wag and I was getting odd fish on the pole but was missing loads of bites, some were sailaways maybe liners and the float was going under every couple of minutes but I wasn't connecting with hardly anything apart from the previously mentioned carp and a baby tench plus one good skimmer that thought it was a carp.
It didn't help much either that I couldn't see the yellow float tip against the glare from the sun and was relying on either Rich Britton telling my float had disappeared  or waiting for a load of elastic to come out of the end of the pole which is always a good indication that something has taken the bait!
At one point I struck at a bite and spooked a couple of shallow fish so I went out on the shallow rig and had one almost straight away but nothing followed and that was the only fish I had on that rig so no more on that as they say.
Back out on the deck rig and I hooked a fish that tore off like a foul-hooked train towards Colin Butler on 112 so I stuck the pole under the water and braced myself for the inevitable but it didn't happen and after much elastic pulling I got it within netting distance and realised that it wasn't foul-hooked at all but was a beast of a fish.  Despite having played it almost to a standstill, due to it's weight and there being too much give in the elastic I couldn't get it's head up so tried to net it under the water but it side-stepped the net and went for the platform leg in slow-motion resulting in the inevitable rig explosion and much abuse from all around the lake.
That was enough for me and my "pole-only" day.  I took a timeout and set up a wag rod.

Elsewhere Mark Radford was putting a weight together on 114, fishing long towards the redundant peg 113, Chris Davis was also getting a few fishing into the corner and Rich Britton was still steadily sneaking a few out.
Alan Healey however, had spent the best part of his day hunched over a motionless tip rod feeding the fish that were swirling on the top in front of him whilst rolling fags to keep himself busy (he did have a few breaks to loose fish on the pole line) and Derek was having a rest after his busy first hour and was topping up his suntan.
Lee next to me had started getting a few silvers in between loosing carp, six-toed Lee was getting a few lumps and Adam on 125 had "decided" to go for silvers (presumably as he had foul-hooked a couple of skimmers).

My pellet waggler efforts had produced one tiny carp plus several lost fish, plenty of frustration and a lost rig where the mainline strangely broke on the strike so I was soon back in "pole-only" mode which wasn't much more productive but a couple of 4oz skimmers maybe answered the mystery of the un-hitable bite problem I had earlier.
A look down in the right margin that I had been hand feeding with 8mm's all day gave nothing more than a few tiny dips on the float from the resident fry so that was abandoned and I spent the last hour back out on the pellet waggler.

This time the fish seemed to have gained a bit of confidence and bites were coming thick and fast but unfortunately, of the six fish I hooked in the last hour I only managed to land one.  The rest either pinged off or broke the hooklengths so that will be the last time I will be buying pre-tied banded hooklengths (laziness). Odd too that they were tied to 0.20 powerline when I usually tie my own to 0.16 powerline and don't get that many breakages (I got through the whole pack of 10 today)

Anyway, the 4 o' clock finish came (and went) but I couldn't manage another one in extra time so I called the "all out" and guestimated my weight at 50lbs.
Steve was soon round with the scales having started with Ryan Radford on 132 who had struggled for only 20ish pounds.
By the time the scales arrived Will Dearlove was leading with 74-11, my efforts went 50-6 which was 6oz over my guestimated weight (take note Lee / Alan).
Rich Britton then took over the top place with 89-6 and Adam's collection of foul-hooked skimmers and tench went to 16-7 and was looking safe in that department as Kev Jefferies had cocked up peg 123 and didn't weigh.
Six-toed Lee put 68-6 on the scales robbing me of a pound coin (read all about it here) and it was then round to Chris Davis on 119 who managed 104-1 of carp plus a few silvers for a total of 108-15.
Keith Ray managed 52-8 from 118, Lionel and Alan dnw'd which was unfortunate for Al but good for me as I got my pound back!
And then it was Mark Radford's turn and it was going to be close ....
105-14 of carp but only 2lbs of silvers meant a total of 107-14 so not quite enough but despite the lake fishing well below par it was a very tight result.

Next weekend we're at Avalon and there are plenty of spaces for that one so give me a call if you fancy it.

Full Result:
  1. Chris Davis (119) ........... 108-15
  2. Mark Radford (114) .......... 107-14
  3. Rich Britton (126) ............ 89-6
  4. Ron Hardiman (111) ......... 76-8
  5. Will Dearlove (130) .......... 74-11
  6. Lee Williams (121) ........... 68-6
  7. Keith Ray (118) ............... 52-8
  8. Steve Burgess (127) ........ 50-6
  9. Derek Lucas (135) ........... 43-13
  10. Rich Jones (129) ............. 41-13
  11. Adam Caswell (125) ........ 37-0
  12. Ryan Radford (132) ......... 20-2
  13. Lee Waller (128) ............. 15-2
  14. Colin Butler (112) ........... 13-2
  15. and 4 Dnw's including Alan Healey
  1. Adam Caswell ....... 16-7
  2. Lee Waller ............ 15-2
  3. Colin Butler .......... 13-2
  4. Steve Burgess ...... 5-13
  5. Rich Britton .......... 5-12



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